Sarah Silverman (expletive deleted).

byronius, 2008/09/26 

This is a beautiful thing to watch.

The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.


Go Wanda


I wouldn’t want this to get lost…

They Were Just Following Orders.



Contractor says immune from Iraq torture lawsuits

By DAVID DISHNEAU – 2 hours ago

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — Defense contractor CACI (KA’-kee) is claiming immunity from lawsuits alleging torture at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, saying it was doing the U.S. government’s work as a supplier of interrogators.

CACI International and a sister company, CACI Premier Technology, say in court documents that they’ll employ that defense in a dismissal motion they plan to file next week in federal court in northern Virginia.

Eleven U.S. soldiers were convicted of breaking military laws in the Abu Ghraib scandal.

CACI and another contractor, L-3 Communications, are accused in separate lawsuits of a conspiracy to torture detainees in 2003 and 2004.

The case against L-3 is pending in federal court in Maryland, but L-3 wants it moved to the same court as the CACI case.

This is personally of great interest to me, since CACI once sued Randi Rhodes (for ten million dollars) for reading the Taguba Report and other documents detailing CACI’s role in the ordering of torture during her show; she prevailed after a long and costly legal battle. Evidence indicates that Rumsfeld and Cheney placed CACI personnel in direct command of US military, and that they ordered rank-and-file US military to commit heinous acts of torture and human degradation, often against Iraquis who had been sold to the military by local warlords for profit. Most of them were never charged with a crime, and later released.

CACI may also have been involved in the torture and videotaping of torture of minors, including the fifteen year old boy who was brutally sodomized on videotape to convince his parents to cooperate. Seymour Hersh described the video as ‘chilling’; he could not bear to watch the whole thing. Congress has acknowleded the existence of such a video; it has never been released to the public.

The fact that CACI now claims they were just following orders from the Bush administration is the first leak in a rotten dike. Conservatives hate this issue, and respond to it as if it the rudest and most conspiracy-obsessed action one can take to bring this issue up; but CACI’s discomfiture is going to spill over the dike and reveal that these actions were all rooted deeply in conservative ideology and worldview, and tacitly approved of by the bulk of the Republican Party, which successfully blocked all investigation into these matters until the 2006 election.

Randi was right. And every conservative that denies or deflects this issue contributes to its continuance, and to the growing stain on their mortal soul, if indeed there is such a thing.

The GOP will always be, for me, the Child Torture Party. CACI is demonstrating that this is neither embellishment nor polemic, but fact.

Ten Hail Marys.



First Palin, Then Campaign Suspension. What Now?

Slate predicts McCain’s next 10 Hail Mary stunts.

Posted Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008, at 1:39 PM ET

John McCain
1. Returns to Vietnam and jails himself.
2. Offers the post of “vice vice president” to Warren Buffett.
3. Challenges Obama to suspend campaign so they both can go and personally drill for oil offshore.
4. Learns to use computer.
5. Does bombing run over Taliban-controlled tribal areas of Pakistan.
6. Offers to forgo salary, sell one house.
7. Sex-change operation.
8. Suspends campaign until Nov. 4, offers to start being president right now.
9. Sells Alaska to Russia for $700 billion.
10. Pledges to serve only one term. OK, half a term.

What A Good Pooch.

byronius, 2008/09/25 


He gets a Milkbone.

The joke’s funny, but I had to post this because this pup is So Way Cute. I know that look too well.

Stole it from the ever down-to-earth Bartcop.

American Exceptionalism


Where’s this guy been, or has he always been this good?

Roger Cohen’s NYT Op-Ed

The money grafs:

I’m going to try to make this simple. On the Democratic side you have a guy whose campaign has been based on the Internet, who believes America may have something to learn from other countries (like universal health care) and who’s unafraid in 2008 to say he’s a “proud citizen of the United States and a fellow citizen of the world.”

On the Republican side, you have a guy who, in 2008, is just discovering the Net and Google and whose No. 2 is a woman who got a passport last year and believes she understands Russia because Alaska is closer to Siberia than Alabama.

If I were Obama, I’d put it this way: “Senator McCain, the world you claim to understand is the world of yesterday. A new century demands new thinking. Our country cannot be made fundamentally secure by a man who thought our economy was fundamentally sound.”

American exceptionalism, taken to extremes, leaves you without the allies you need (Iraq), without the influence you want (Iran) and without any notion of risk (Wall Street). The only exceptionalism that resonates, as Obama put it to me last year, is one “based on our Constitution, our principles, our values and our ideals.”

Maron Vs. Seder, Part II.


Maron Vs. Seder is being broadcast nationally beginning October 1st. I’ve been watching the ‘office webcam shows’ regularly; they’re brilliant. These guys are the sharpest news analysis tool in the shed.

Wow. This is going to be great.

Thinking People Want To Know.


Seth Greenland

What John McCain is Thinking, Part V

Where the hell did Cindy hide my Xanax? I need to double down. If I start acting any jumpier, they’re gonna put me in a strait jacket.

Relax, Flyboy! I got the Pipe Cleaner on the run. I may have thrown him for a loop when I picked Sarah Powell but I’m really gonna clean his clock when I ditch the debate. Told America Johnny Mac has to swoop in and save the economy — hope no one notices I was Chairman of the Commerce Committee — no time for finger-pointing.

Soon as I get to Washington everyone’s gonna forget Sally Palin on Katie Couric. Jesus H., how do you get that toothpaste back in the tube? Maybe next time we can get one of the Muppets to interview her. Big Bird! He’ll go easy. I was worried Katie was gonna start laughing. Probably had to drink Benadryl before the sit down.

God forgive me, Sally Palin makes Bush look good. Prime Minister of Pakistan sure did like her, though. Thinks she’s a hooker. Poor guy was wondering what all the cameras were doing there. Wonder what he talked to her about? Sally, everyone in Pakistan wants to know…is Clay Aiken really gay? Least that’s something she’s qualified to talk about. Am I going to Hell for choosing her? Johnny Mac’s a risk taker. Damn the torpedoes, I’ll buy some asbestos underwear!

Feel pretty good about calling off the old debate. Still got my surrogates firing away, still got the negative ads running in the swing states, and this old Airman’s taking the high road. Showing some leadership… country first. Got everybody fooled… now where did I put my pants?

Dumber Than Dumber Than Dirt.


COURIC: You’ve cited Alaska’s proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?

PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land– boundary that we have with– Canada. It– it’s funny that a comment like that was– kind of made to– cari– I don’t know, you know? Reporters–


PALIN: Yeah, mocked, I guess that’s the word, yeah.

COURIC: Explain to me why that enhances your foreign policy credentials.

PALIN: Well, it certainly does because our– our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They’re in the state that I am the executive of. And there in Russia–

COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We– we do– it’s very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border. It is– from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to– to our state.

Yet another scary take on politics


This letter provided some comic relief at a faculty meeting. After further reflection – how scary and sad

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